Mobile, AL (WKRG)
Brenda Beverly is a member of the Baha’i faith in Mobile. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Chad: Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of your faith’s founder. Tell us about the roots of the Baha’i Faith.
Guest: Baha’u’llah was born 200 years ago, in 1817 in Persia, what is now known as Iran. His mission was to bring light and unity to the world. He was preceded by another prophet who was known as the Bab or the Gate. Their birthdays, Oct. 21 and Oct. 22, fell within a 24 hour time period, although not in the same calendar year. Baha’is consider Baha’u’llah and the Bab as twin manifestations of God, and we celebrate these birthdays as Twin Holy Days.
Chad: How is this milestone observed?
Guest: Because this was the 200th Anniversary, thousands of communities around the world are holding bicentenary celebrations this weekend. The Baha’is of Mobile held a commemorative celebration last night with music and dance performances, prayers, short inspiration films, and an award ceremony recognizing individuals and agencies that serve the Mobile community.
Chad: What are some ways you can live the belief in the oneness in mankind?
The individuals and agencies we recognized last night at our Bicentenary event are great examples of demonstrating the oneness of mankind. We honored Mr. Isaac White, Sr. a well-known barber in Mobile who has dedicated himself to mentoring young men and women in his trade. We recognized the work of the Refugee Resettlement Program, affiliated with Catholic Social Services. The Refugee Resettlement Program helps people fleeing persecution after all Baha’is are persecuted in Iran. We also honored the Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition a grassroots organization dedicated to making sure that all people have access to healthy air and water, particularly the community of Africatown. We also met representatives from the Bayou Clinic, the health clinic founded by Dr. Regina Benjamin, and dedicated to providing health care services with dignity for all people in the community.
Chad: What is the message you want people to come away with?
Guest: Increasingly we see people in our community, in our country, and around the world despairing due to real suffering – poverty, natural disasters, and political strife. For Baha’is, we believe that we can overcome all of these events through focusing on unity and justice. When we focus our thoughts on treating all people with God’s love, justly, and without prejudice for their religion, race, or gender, then we can work together to move humanity.
Chad: What is one of the most challenging teachings in Baha’i?
Guest: Acting on those principles of unity and justice are always challenging. Unity requires me to love people and to work with people even when I don’t have anything in common. And, justice is challenging as well. Do I understand when something is just or unjust? How am I called to act when there is an injustice. Baha’is pray daily, consult with one another, and work to serve the community so that we can practice unity and justice.